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Playing the Horses
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Malcolm Wolter
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 9:21 am    Post subject: Playing the Horses Reply with quote

Since steeds can play such a major role in fantasy or historical setting, I'd like more FFF rules that provide more options for horses. Here's some new horse types built on historical models. To this I'll be adding horse traits (Edges and Hindrances) and rules for extended pursuits (ala the classic Bruce Cassidy and the Sundance Kid movie).

Here's my first pass at some new types, for your review and comment. I did research them all, but they could still maybe use some refinement. These are to supplement or replace the horse types provided in the core rules, as desired.

Horse, War (Destrier, or "Great Horse")
These superior medieval-era horses are bred for bearing a knight into battle and the joust. Known for their strength, loyalty and calm nature, destriers are trained for battle. Knights reserve them for this purpose, relying on lesser steeds to transport them to the field. Due to their bulk, destriers tire more quickly than other war horses. Highly prized for their skill, only upper ranking knights can afford them.
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d4(A), Spirit d6, Strength d12+3, Vigor d8
Skills: Fighting d8, Guts d8, Notice d6
Pace: 8; Parry: 6; Toughness: 10
Special Abilities
• Fleet-footed: Destriers roll d8 when running instead of d6
• Kick: Str+d6
• Size+3: Destriers weigh between 1100 and 1300 lbs
• Sturdy: Toughness +1; Load limit 10 times Strength (150lbs).
• Calm: +2 to Guts checks
Cost: $2,100 or more

Horse, War (Courser)
Knights who are able to afford a destrier typically keep several coursers as well. Coursers are lighter, faster and more manoeverable than destriers, at the expense of some strength. They also have more stamina than destriers, and were a good deal less costly. By the end of the 15th century, they are the "standard" war horse.
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d4(A), Spirit d6, Strength d12+2, Vigor d10
Skills: Fighting d8, Guts d8, Notice d6
Pace: 10; Parry: 6; Toughness: 10
Special Abilities
• Fleet-footed: Horse roll d8 when running instead of d6
• Kick: Str+d4
• Size+2: Coursers weigh between 1000 and 1200 lbs
• Stout: Warhorses can carry 30% of their weight before being overburdened
Cost: $750

Horse, War (Rounsey)
Ordinary horses, known as a rounseys, are mostly used by squires and low-ranking knights. Rounseys are at the lowest end of the warhorse market. Wealthy knights provide rounseys for their retinue.
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d4(A), Spirit d6, Strength d12+1, Vigor d8
Skills: Fighting d6, Guts d8, Notice d6
Pace: 10; Parry: 5; Toughness: 9
Special Abilities
• Fleet-footed: Horse roll d8 when running instead of d6
• Kick: Str
• Size+2: Rounseys weigh between 800 and 1000 lbs
• Stout: Warhorses can carry 30% of their weight before being overburdened
• Unpredictable: -2 to Guts checks
Cost: $500

Horse, Riding (Palfrey)
Palfreys are high-quality riding horses, used for hunting but not for war except as a second horse to allow a knight to keep his primary warhorse fresh. Knights ride the palfrey till battle was imminent then mount the destrier. They have an ambled gait which makes for much easier riding and their gentle demeanor makes them a good fit for unskilled riders and children.
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d4(A), Spirit d6, Strength d12, Vigor d8
Skills: Fighting d4, Guts d6, Notice d6
Pace: 10; Parry: 4; Toughness: 8
Special Abilities
• Fleet-footed: Horse roll d8 when running instead of d6
• Kick: Str
• Size+2: Riding horses weigh between 800 and 1000 lbs
• Ambling Gait: +2 to both Rider and Horse Fatigue checks
• Gentle: Palfreys are very agreeable. Characters enjoy a +1 to Riding rolls when riding them.
Cost: $500

Horse, Riding (Jennet)
Similar to palfreys, jennets seem to be regarded as particularly suitable for ladies, but are regarded as excellent light cavalry horses by the Renaissance era.
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d4(A), Spirit d6, Strength d12, Vigor d8
Skills: Fighting d4, Guts d6, Notice d6
Pace: 10; Parry: 4; Toughness: 8
Special Abilities
• Fleet-footed: Horse roll d8 when running instead of d6
• Kick: Str
• Size+2: Riding horses weigh between 800 and 1000 lbs
• Ambling Gait: +2 to both Rider and Horse Fatigue checks
Cost: $400

Horse, Riding (Hackney)
Hackneys are basic riding horses, gaited, but of lower quality than a palfrey. Often also used as a pack horse.
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d4(A), Spirit d6, Strength d12, Vigor d8
Skills: Fighting d4, Guts d6, Notice d6
Pace: 10; Parry: 4; Toughness: 8
Special Abilities
• Fleet-footed: Horse roll d8 when running instead of d6
• Kick: Str
• Size+2: Hackneys weigh between 800 and 1000 lbs
Cost: $300

Horse, Work (Farm, Pack or Driving)
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d4(A), Spirit d6, Strength d12, Vigor d8
Skills: Guts d6, Notice d6
Pace: 10; Parry: 2; Toughness: 8
Special Abilities
• Fleet-footed: Horse roll d8 when running instead of d6
• Kick: Str
• Size+2: Riding horses weigh between 800 and 1000 lbs
Cost: $200

Horse, Pony (Riding, Pack, or Driving)
Ponies are small horses, generally intelligent and friendly.
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d4(A), Spirit d6, Strength d10, Vigor d8
Skills: Guts d6, Notice d6
Pace: 8; Parry: 2; Toughness: 8
Special Abilities
• Fleet-footed: Ponies roll d8 when running instead of d6
• Kick: Str
• Size+1: Ponies weigh between 400 lbs on average
Cost: $100


Nag
A nag is a horse that's old or in poor health. They may be flea-bitten, malnourished, mangy or sway-backed. Nags are tired and lazy, as a rule and not given to athletic feats like jumping.
Attributes: Agility d4, Smarts d4(A), Spirit d4, Strength d8, Vigor d6
Skills: Guts d4, Notice d4
Pace: 6; Parry: 2; Toughness: 8
Special Abilities
• Fleet-footed: Nags roll d8 when running instead of d6
• Kick: Str
• Size+2: Nags weigh up to 1000 lbs
Cost: $50 or less


Enjoy!


M.


Last edited by Malcolm Wolter on Thu Nov 26, 2009 4:44 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Jordan Peacock
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't painstakingly examined the stats for "play balance," but the concept here is great, and I love the idea of having a quick reference for horses - particularly for a campaign where the purchase of a horse might be an important consideration for PCs (and a major investment).

I found the entry about the destrier to be particularly intriguing, since previously when I've dealt with different horse stats in games, they've usually been dealt with in pure terms of "fair, good, even better" when comparing a "war horse" to a mere "horse" - e.g., the warhorse has more "hit points," better stats, and costs more, with no apparent downsides at all.

One thing that occurs to me is that in many cases the purpose of a horse will be primarily for transport, so for a fantasy/medieval game where the heroes are traveling across a map, it might be possible to further distinguish between horse types by giving them Travel Speeds - such as with the pirate ships in Pirates RPG or rocketships in Slipstream. I could see the destrier having a lower Travel Speed than other types of horse, even if it is fairly fast in any particular battle, to reflect the fact that it tires out easily, so it doesn't serve as well as a mount over long distances. That crosses the line between critter and vehicle, of course, but horses are the closest things to "vehicles" that heroes are likely to have in a fantasy/medieval setting on dry land. Wink

Anyway, it looks great! I might have to reference this for the next time I run a fantasy campaign, when I have heroes who want to shop for horses, so they have a little more of a choice in the matter.
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Malcolm Wolter
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Jordan! Yeah, I wanted to have rules for overland pace or Travel as well, for use in my extended pursuit rules. And I want to have a bit about horse trading. Will be adding to this thread over the next couple of weeks. I welcome all feedback. If you could expand on the concept of Travel I'd appreciate it as I've not seen those other games.

M.
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Lord Skudley
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really like this idea, I'm going to adapt it to my DLR game. Consider it YOINKED
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Malcolm Wolter
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's some good articles I found on horses in roleplaying games. Others have already tread this ground and I'll definitely be converting some of these concepts to Savage Worlds:

http://www.roleplayingtips.com/readissue.php?number=241

http://www.roleplayingtips.com/readissue.php?number=242#1

http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=60629

Thanks,

M.
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SlasherEpoch
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It might be just as useful to simply make a list of Edges, Hindrances, and traits the "default" horses in the SW rulebook might have for personality?
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Malcolm Wolter
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm. Point well taken, but I think I'd personally rather have profile for the major types of horses that have their own characteristics and then have a list of traits that can give each individual mount it's own personality or attributes.

M.
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Lord Skudley
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Malcolm Wolter wrote:
Hmm. Point well taken, but I think I'd personally rather have profile for the major types of horses that have their own characteristics and then have a list of traits that can give each individual mount it's own personality or attributes.

M.


That's a good idea. Kind of the best of both worlds. But does the player use his own XP for the horse or does the hors get his own pool?
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Following this, does the horse level up as an extra?

Don
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Malcolm Wolter wrote:
Hmm. Point well taken, but I think I'd personally rather have profile for the major types of horses that have their own characteristics and then have a list of traits that can give each individual mount it's own personality or attributes.

M.


Fair enough. I'd support that.
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Malcolm Wolter
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lord Skudley: Regarding XP, I hadn't really considered that yet, but I'd be happy to consider any and all thoughts on the matter. IF the mounts were to have XP, I'd think they'd have their own pool.

shadd4d: Regarding leveling up, again, I hadn't thought about it. But it seems like mounts would be much slower to do so—if they did at all. I'd consider an increase only on a 6—or maybe even a 12 on 2d6. I'm open to all ideas on this.

Thanks,

M.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 1:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Malcolm,

I'd think that it would be up to each particular gaming group how much an active part of the story their mounts are. If you're playing a Deadlands game, or Savage Mount and Blade, it's not difficult to conceive that horses are going to be a big part of the story and should deserve the chance to level up as much as any extra. I mean, in such scenarios, the players likely have an attachment to them.
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Malcolm Wolter
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I guess I was wondering about the rate of advancement. Since they're only animals and have animal intelligence, it's seems like the rate of advancement would be slower than human(oid) extras...?
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, rather than creating a whole sub-system for mounts, why not create a handful of edges that benefit both the PC and the mount? Beast Bond could be a key prerequisite. You might also create one that is similar to Trademark Weapon, but for mounts. This would work seamlessly with the current game, not add an extra level on top of it.

That's just my line of thinking anyway.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Malcolm Wolter wrote:
Yeah, I guess I was wondering about the rate of advancement. Since they're only animals and have animal intelligence, it's seems like the rate of advancement would be slower than human(oid) extras...?


Nah. I wouldn't worry about changing anything. It says in the book that Extras only roll to advance when they're a big part of the adventure. Most of the time, horses will serve as transportation.
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Malcolm Wolter
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BluSponge wrote:
Actually, rather than creating a whole sub-system for mounts, why not create a handful of edges that benefit both the PC and the mount?


Speaking for myself, I think I want more options and flexibility than that—but I do want to use existing game conventions, so it looks like I'll have a system of Horse Traits and Skills. Combining these together in certain ways will create the different horse types—it will also determine the default cost of the animal. Then you can roll for a chance for 1-3 additional Traits to make the mount unique. FFF—you could generate a horse in about 30 seconds.

Been having fun doing a lot of research and will be revising my list of above extensively as well as adding a few new types.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

x Malcom:
Niiice topic. Maybe I'll use your horses in my fantasy campaign (I need some time to evalutate their "balance").

IMPORTANT PS: a lot of your horses have wrong stats... Toughness is wrong in at least 3 of them. Please, re-check all the stats and the derived ones... ^___^ Man, I'm a keen proofreader...

shadd4d wrote:
Following this, does the horse level up as an extra?

Don

In the rules, you need to "pay" your extra with an Edge. So I think that if you simply brought your horse, the horse is simple a "vehicle", so it doesn't advance.
Otherwise, if you spend an Advance to get some "You gain Extras" edge, or the very appropriate Beast Master edge, then the horse can advance as the Extras do.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lord Lance wrote:
In the rules, you need to "pay" your extra with an Edge. So I think that if you simply brought your horse, the horse is simple a "vehicle", so it doesn't advance.
Otherwise, if you spend an Advance to get some "You gain Extras" edge, or the very appropriate Beast Master edge, then the horse can advance as the Extras do.


I was under the understanding that horses were a unique sort of vehicle, one which could be bought, sort of like hiring servants or guys in play as opposed to gaining them via edges. I mean, it's easy to gain some in-game extras, such as hiring servants and such prior to gaining any of the "grant extra" edges in the rules or setting rules.

Could you explain the "pay" your extras with an edge? Is that to get the extras or how they advance?

Don
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Malcolm Wolter
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lord Lance wrote:
x Malcom:
Niiice topic. Maybe I'll use your horses in my fantasy campaign (I need some time to evalutate their "balance").

IMPORTANT PS: a lot of your horses have wrong stats... Toughness is wrong in at least 3 of them. Please, re-check all the stats and the derived ones... ^___^ Man, I'm a keen proofreader...


Thanks! I threw those up here pretty quickly just to see if I could generate some interest. I'll be making heavy edits as soon as I can sort them all out. Your proofreading eye will be most welcome then!


Quote:
shadd4d wrote:
Following this, does the horse level up as an extra?

Don

In the rules, you need to "pay" your extra with an Edge. So I think that if you simply brought your horse, the horse is simple a "vehicle", so it doesn't advance.
Otherwise, if you spend an Advance to get some "You gain Extras" edge, or the very appropriate Beast Master edge, then the horse can advance as the Extras do.


I must confess I'm having second thoughts about the whole horse advancement thing. I dunno—I guess you could "bring" up a crappy horse, but their advancement paths and available options are gonna be pretty limited, so it would have to be a very judicious process. Also hard to keep it FFF...I'm leaning towards your horse is what is is until you trade it or buy a new one. But I can prolly still be persuaded otherwise...

M.
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shadd4d
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What do you mean? There's a whole host of edges for them...especially if you allow a few background edges like Brawny or Lucky.

Additionally, what stops them from getting something like Danger Sense, Strong Willed, No Mercy (Fighting), Hard(er) to Kill, Dodge or some of those which help out when riding up to a menace? Or letting them get some of the Fighting combat edges which would help them out, like trademark weapon (horseshoes) or something of that nature? Or a boost to pace or an improved fleet-footed?

Sure, the horses' path will be limited as they aren't the "stars" of the game like the more-or-less anthromophological forms are.

Additionally, how would you handle this with DL:R? Does the guy need to take sidekick to make them a wild card or Behold a Pale horse?

Don
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